Chapter 40 - Severed Ties

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Chapter 40

Severed Ties

Berkley stepped into the cool brisk air and followed Blake up the stairs to his apartment. He never took the elevator and she didn't mind. She could use the exercise these days. She was ready for this day to be over. Once inside, Blake smiled and handed her a small wax paper sleeve that was still warm. She didn't even have to look inside. She knew it would contain her favorite cookie and a couple more for Blake.

He stopped by the bakery every couple of days on his way home. She could smell the raspberry and the white chocolate through the paper. "Thank you. You're going to make me fatter." She teased.

"What's another twenty pounds, right?" He chided tossing his keys onto the table. "How was your day?" He asked sensing her mood was lighter than this morning. She had a little bit of spark in her tonight. Something he hadn't seen in weeks. His insides churned with sadness. Dane must have played his cards right today. He knew it was selfish to not be happy for her but it didn't change the fact that he wasn't. He had reluctantly accepted his fate and the hopelessness that was weighing upon him.

He sat down on the couch next to Berkley and she handed him a cookie. He placed his arms around her and gave her a hug. "I'm going to miss you." He said kissing the top of her head putting up his best brotherly façade.

"Blake, I've been a burden for you throughout this."

"You needed help. I offered it. I couldn't let you fall apart just anywhere." He replied with his trademark smirk.

"It's okay to be angry with me or even hate me... temporarily." She added.

"I don't do temporary. I'm more of the forever until I die type, so lucky for you I don't hate you." He admitted as he let go of her. He leaned forward and buried his face in his hands and let out a deep breath. This was harder than he thought.

"Blake, I know you're hurting and I wish I could stop it. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you."

"It's not your fault. I had plenty of chances and I blew it. When I came home, I should have found you first thing. I should have been there to protect you then. If I had, you wouldn't be pregnant."

"Garrett didn't even know how to find me. I was too afraid to reach out. I had to find the courage to leave on my own. None of it is your fault and don't wish Lily away."

He sighed. "That isn't how I meant it. I could have taken care of you... and Lily. I would have loved her like she was my own."

"Blake I don't doubt that. I don't see you as inadequate in any way. It's quite the opposite. I'm the one coming up short. I can't give you the happiness and love that you deserve. Maybe I've been standing in the way of your happiness all this time. Blake, promise me you will keep your heart open."

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